Cooking an Artichoke

Artichoke

Grooming an Artichoke!

Preparing an Artichoke is no big deal.  You just need a sharp knife, and I mean Chef sharp!  An Artichoke is a very tough budding flower from an extraordinary plant so you have to bust through the meaty exterior to get to that wholesome tender center.  Not to mention that the leaves have thorns at their tips.  So, the first thing you want to do, after you get your seasoned water boiling, is cut through the base and sever the stem, and then expose all of the pedals by cutting the leaf tips.  This Allows the seasoned boiling water to penetrate through the entire Artichoke when it’s fully submerged, thus tenderizing the heart and making the leaves eatable.  Boil for approximately 8 minutes then serve an Artichoke with melted butter and mayonnaise.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip or Spread

Artichoke Recipe Favorites

My Favorite ways to eat an Artichoke usually involves the hearts.  And, because I’m lazy, I’ll just break down and by a jar of pickled or marinated Artichoke hearts and incorporate them into my recipes.

Artichoke

Here’s a few, with links if you want to look into making a few these your selves.  Broccoli and Cheese Dip with Marinated Artichoke Hearts,  Spinach and Artichoke Dip or Spread and one I haven’t added yet is Roasted Artichoke Hearts on my Alfredo Sauce Pizza.  So that’s just a free tip!

Artichoke Ingredients:

1 Artichoke
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Add enough water to a pot to fully submerge an Artichoke while it’s boiling.

Perfect Tempura Everytime

Tempura

Tempura is Touchy!

Lets nail down the issues most people have with making Tempura, starting with buying it in a box.  For the most part, you’re just buying a box of flour with a fancy picture on the front that shows you how good it could look if you buy their product.  But does that make sense?  You’ve got flour at home in your kitchen, right?  Oh, maybe you need the directions on the back of the box.  Wait, that doesn’t make sense either because you’ve got the web at your finger tips.  You can just look it up.  So here we are, you and I, and we’re going to get through this together.

Tempura

Tempura in a Box

Soda Water or Club SodaThe truth is that no matter what the contents of that Tempura box are, flour, corn starch or whatever, the box directions are WRONG!  Sure they give you a few pointers from step 1 to 3 but they don’t talk about a few key issues you will have if you don’t mix it in the right order, if you just use regular tap water or if you don’t keep your batter ice cold.  That’s right.  If you ignore any one of these 3 things, your Tempura is not going to turn out right.

Tempura Ingredients:

1 egg yoke
1 cup Tonic or Seltzer Water, Carbanated is the key
1 cup Flour

  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl over the top of another bowl full of ice water
  • Stir the liquids first, then add the flour and don’t over mix; leave it lumpy
  • Use ice cold Tonic or Seltzer water, not Tap, to get the batter to poof up

Watch the video tutorial and follow these simple instructions and you will have perfect Tempura, every single time.

Cooking King Crab Legs

King Crab Legs

The Best King Crab Legs

The thing about King Crab Legs, or any crab legs for that matter, is that they are already cooked when you buy them.  I know, Shocker, right?  So all we need to do is reheat them and you just need to choose the method you’d like to prepare them.  Steaming is an easy way if you have a big enough pot that can be covered with a lid.  A few inches of boiling water in the bottom will get them done in about 4 minutes.  Just make sure that you get the water to a rolling boil before you actually add the King Crab Legs.  Most people don’t realize that you can actually cheat and take it a step further; you can usually have them steamed at the place of purchase when you are buying them.  Of course this means you need to be picking them up at meal time but if you’re waiting on the oven for bake potatoes, a quick trip to the grocery is perfect for that waiting time; just a suggestion.

King Crab Legs

Be Careful Grilling King Crab Legs

Grilling King Crab Legs leaves people oohing and awing every time you flip open the lid, but you need to be very careful not to dry them out.  Even though you tend to gain the Smokey flavor of the grill, you lose the natural flavors of the crab meat.  Remember this is just a reheat anyway so you don’t want them on the grill for too long.  10 minutes on low with the lid down, tops!

The oven will have a similar effect that grilling does if you don’t cover up the Crab Legs.  It will dry them out, and you will lose flavor.  The way I show you how to cook them in this tutorial is on a broiler pan covered with tin foil.  The reason I do it this way is because you get the best of both worlds.  By adding a half cup of water to the pan you get the steaming effect with convection as the heat rises from underneath the King Crab Legs, then the heat reflects off the foil, cooking the top.  It’s win-win.

You can do a reheat in the microwave, but I don’t recommend it.  In fact I don’t recommend that any meat go in the microwave for a reheat, EVER!  I’ll get into that at later time.

King Crab Legs and Santolla Reds

Now, the crab legs that I’m introducing are not your traditional King Crab Legs.  These are called Santolla Reds.  The reason I’m using these instead of the other is they are practically the same thing.  First off, they are almost exactly the same size; same look and everything that way.  The only difference that I’ve noticed is they are a little bit saltier, so I just use unsalted butter.  Second, it’s about the cost.  I wouldn’t be living up to my reputation as the Poor Man’s Gourmet Kitchen showing you recipes at “A Low Budget Wonder”, if I was showing off recipes that aren’t affordable.  Santolla Reds, if you can find them, are usually at least half the price of regular King Crab Legs.  I can pick them up at Smith’s right now, for $6.99 a pound, and that’s year ‘round!  Try getting more than a pound and a half of king crab legs at any restaurant these days for under $26 bucks!  It’s worth doing it at home, and worth knowing a few tricks to cooking King Crab Legs and other gourmet meals at a low budget wonder.